LIV­ING THE HIGH-TECH LIFE

There’s re­mark­able tech­nol­ogy lurk­ing be­neath the new A8’s sub­tle skin

Car (South Africa) - - INSIGHT -

ETA: Q3 2018

MIN­I­MAL­IST CABIN & MAX­I­MUM TECH

In lieu of an­cil­lary hard­points and but­tons, the A8’s smooth-skinned, min­i­mal­ist dash houses touch­screen con­trols with hap­tic feed­back, a full-hd dig­i­tal in­stru­ment clus­ter and a flush­fit­ting 10,5-inch cen­tral in­fo­tain­ment screen. Audi says there are 41 dif­fer­ent driver-as­sis­tance sys­tems, in­clud­ing a smart nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem with a self-learn­ing func­tion. The A8 L’s rear seats also pro­vide var­i­ous heat­ing/cool­ing and mas­sag­ing func­tions as well as a footrest that also in­cludes foot mas­sag­ing.

CUT­TING-EDGE LASERS

Among the plethora of sys­tems is au­topi­lot. Us­ing a laser scan­ner, radar and other sen­sors, the sys­tem pro­vides com­plete au­ton­omy un­der 60 km/h as well as smart­phone-con­trolled au­to­mated park­ing. Lasers also fea­ture within the HD Ma­trix LED high-beam head­lamps, ef­fec­tively dou­bling the range of high beams at speeds above 70 km/h.

IN­TEL­LI­GENT SUS­PEN­SION

Billed as AI sus­pen­sion, the sys­tem in­cor­po­rates an elec­tric mo­tor and nu­mer­ous other com­po­nents for each wheel, ad­just­ing sus­pen­sion load in­de­pen­dently. In ad­di­tion to lend­ing the A8 some sporti­ness in the bends, it should help al­le­vi­ate the choppy ride that’s peren­ni­ally counted against it.

HY­BRIDS ACROSS THE BOARD

The en­gine lineup kicks off with 3,0 TDI and 3,0T FSI, which gen­er­ate 210 kw and 250 kw re­spec­tively. A 4,0-litre V8 TDI (320 kw), 4,2T FSI tur­bopetrol (338 kw) and a range­top­ping 6,0-litre W12 will be in­tro­duced later. All of these en­gines are mild-hy­brid units that al­low the car to coast for up to 40 sec­onds at speeds be­tween 55 and 160 km/h. An Audi A8 L E-tron Qu­at­tro will fea­ture a 3,0 V6 tur­bopetrol along­side a lithium-ion bat­tery-pow­ered elec­tric mo­tor to pro­duce to­tal out­puts of 330 kw and 700 N.m of torque. All units are cou­pled with an eight-speed auto ‘box.

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